Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001) was an Indian American Kashmiri poet and teacher. Shahid’s often cathartic poems are marked by a language of longing and moments of transformation even in the face of historical, cultural, and personal upheaval. His collection Rooms Are Never Finished was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001.
Agha Shahid Ali, one of the shining lights of Kashmir, left us on this day 16 years ago. His poetry has taken the message of Kashmir far and wide. He has inspired an entire generation of Kashmiris to write poetry in English and to tell their stories to the world.
In this stunningly inventive collection―a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award in poetry―Ali excavates the devastation wrought upon his childhood home, Kashmir, and reveals a more personal devastation: his mother's death and the journey with her body back to Kashmir.